BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The Marist men’s basketball team lost a road contest to Fairfield on Sunday by a score of 81-53. After a strong opening stanza by the Red Foxes (7-14, 2-8 MAAC), a 65.5 percent shooting effort by the Stags (11-10, 6-4 MAAC) in the second half, gave the preseason number two team in the MAAC the victory. Freshmen Manny Thomas (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Chavaughn Lewis (Queens, N.Y.) each scored 10 points to lead the team.
The game opened evenly as the each team posted eight points over the first 5:21 of play. Following a made three point basket by junior Devin Price (Inglewood, Calif.) to tie the game at 8-8, the Red Foxes ran off four more points to complete their 7-0 run and hold a 12-8 lead at 12:32.
Staked with that lead, Marist was in control of the scoreboard for the next 9:05, until Derek Needham sunk a three-pointer at 2:41. This basket, as well as a buzzer beater by Sean Crawford was part of a 12-1 Stag run to close the half.
At the break, Fairfield was ahead by a score of 33-27.
Statistically, the teams shot similar field goal and free throw percentages with Fairfield holding slight advantages at 44.4 and 40.9 and 75.0 to 70.0, respectively. Individually, Thomas led the Red Foxes with seven points on the strength of five free throw conversations.
In the second half, the Red Foxes came out and took it to Fairfield in the early goings, specifically Jay Bowie (Tampa, Fla.). The second-year forward was a key cog in Marist’s offense as he scored six consecutive points to open play.
Following Bowie’s streak of offensive success, a made layup by Lewis put the Red Foxes within five points at 39-34 at 15:08. Unfortunately for Marist, the dangerous Stags team that was so highly regarded in the preseason showed up and converted seven of their next eight shots to rattle off an 18-0 run.
Fairfield’s hot shooting continued for the remainder of the game and pinned Marist with its seventh consecutive loss by the final score of 81-53.
For the game, the Stags outshot Marist in both field goal and three point percentages at 55.4 to 37.0 and 66.7 to 26.7. The Red Foxes converted 15 of 21 free throws for the advantage in foul shots 71.4 percent to 63.6.
Individually, Thomas and Lewis each scored 10 points for Marist. Lewis also led the team with six rebounds, four assists, three blocks and three steals.
The Red Foxes will next be in action on Thursday, Feb. 2 when they travel to Manhattan for an 8 p.m. tipoff.